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Cİtizen Kane , Film Processing


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I am an photographer and old prepress man and retired  newspaper printing machines serviceman. I learned Welles used SuperXX and I found Fortepan 200 have the same formula of prewar Kodak SuperXX . But that film is no more in production since 2007. I found French Bergger 200 is new and have same formula as above.

I want to develop my negatives as done at Citizen Kane movie. I need prewar formula , timing and temps and other steps. Tomorrow I am going to go to buy Nikon 24 + F601. And in few weeks , Bergger 200 reaches to me.

If you know something , please help me .

Thank you,

Mustafa Umut Sarac






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well, D76 was introduced as a motion Picture developer in the 1920s.  and Kane was shot for relaese in the 1940s.  D96 has replaced it for movie use, although it is still the "Standard" developer for both film comparison and still photography use.

I would expect that the LOOK of Kane has more to do with Toland's skill than the chemistry the lab used.

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As Charles suggests, Toland's skill as a cinematographer, in conjunction with a good film lab, gifted set designers, grips, gaffers and even the Director, was the "secret sauce" that made Kane look so good.

A good book on the subject is here:  https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520205673/the-making-of-citizen-kane-revised-edition

Although, I have to interject that author Carringer does a good job exploring the complex circumstances that created Kane, like most film historians, the technical details are pretty superficial and treated like a dead mouse; to be examined and disposed of as soon as possible.

Too bad Film Historians as a general rule have no working or practical knowledge of the technology that produced the very media they propose to study. 

Kind of like an expert who designs race tracks who has never driven a car...

I would suggest a better avenue to gain insights on how to obtain the lighting effects in Kane would be to study the classic, "Painting with Light" by John Alton. 


I was lucky enough to stumble across an original hardback copy at a used book store, but the reprint is good too.


Edited by Frank Wylie
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